Confessions of a Guantanamo guard

Detention. Humiliation. Torture. The world can only guess atthe horrors of Camp X-Ray. But now Brandon Neely, a former guard, wants to tell the shocking story of what happened there – and why it shames America. Interview by Almerindo Ojeda
Click to follow

Tell me a bit about your life before you joined the military; where were you born and grew up, why and when you enrolled, and so on?

I can remember being 16 years old and telling my parents that I would never join the military. Even though I was raised in a military household, my father did not bring the army home with him. The military was not something our parents wanted us to do. We were always told: “College first and, if you want the military after that, it will be there afterwards.”

I graduated high school in 1998 with no plans whatsoever for my future. I was not ready for college. I was not mature enough and I knew that I could have went, but I for sure would have wasted my parents’ money. For two years I didn’t do much other than hang out and work at a local grocery store stocking groceries 40 hours a week.

In June of 2000 I woke up one day and decided I was going to join the army as a military police officer. I knew that I needed to do something with my life. I was not sure what yet, but I knew the military would help me grow up and give me some options for my future.

It is striking how specific your decision to join the Military Police was…

Law enforcement was something I was always drawn to. It was a field I had hoped to get into ever since I was a child. At the age of seven or eight, while we were in Fort Knox, Kentucky, I was out back down the hill with a couple friends playing in the dirt. Suddenly, these two MPs came running our way chasing this guy for some reason. One of them stopped and asked us where we lived and took us home. I can remember then saying: “One day I would like to be that guy.”

What are some of the strongest memories you have of your training period?

The very first day I arrived to my basic training company, all we had was the uniform on our back and two duffel bags. Once the doors on the cattle truck were shut, you quickly knew who was in charge. The drill sergeants were yelling: “Get your face in your duffel bag,” as to say: “Don’t look at me! Look down!” I looked over to my right and noticed a guy opening his duffel bag and literally putting his head inside the bag. It was very hard not to laugh, but I restrained from doing so.

Once we arrived to the company area the doors on the truck came swinging open and there stood more drill sergeants screaming to get off the truck. Having the two duffel bags, we were instructed to put one duffel on the front of us and lay the second one horizontal on top of that. Once I did this – me not being the tallest guy in the world – I could not see where I was going. All of a sudden I came to a halt. I had ran into something or someone. My top duffel bag fell to the ground and that is when I noticed I had ran into the back of a drill sergeant who was in the middle of yelling at someone else. His attention quickly turned in my direction, yelling: “What the hell is wrong with you? What platoon are you going to, private?” I replied: “1st Platoon, Drill Sergeant.” “Not anymore you are; you are coming to 4th Platoon with me now,” he said. This is when I totally realised I was no longer a civilian. I was property of the United States Army.

Where were you on 11 September 2001?

I was in Fort Hood, Texas, assigned to the 410th Military Police Company. I was getting dressed for the day after PT when someone came in my barracks room saying: “Get over here and see the TV.” We were told to grab our Kevlars and our gear and grab our M4 rifles and M9mm out of the armoury, and that the United States was under attack by terrorists.

We were locked and load. I was placed with other MPs at the east side entrance of Fort Hood, where we searched every vehicle and person coming on to post. I was ready for revenge. I was angry. I was ready to go to war. Someone or something had attacked my country, and I believed people needed to be held responsible for this.

What was your next assignment?

My company went to Egypt in late September for a training exercise known as Operation Bright Star. On 5 January 2002, I went out with a couple buddies. We were all at a local club just having a good ol’ time when my cellphone rang. It was my platoon sergeant telling me to get back to the company ASAP. Once I arrived back to the platoon office I was told I had been selected to go to the 401st Military Police Company and deploy. I was to report there at 0700 hours the next morning for more details.

The next day I was told that we would be deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within the next 24 hours. It was not until later that afternoon that we were told that we would be starting and running a detainee facility, not an EPW (enemy prisoner of war) camp. We were told that a detainee camp had never been ran before, and that this would be the first time in history this had taken place since these people would not fall under the Geneva Convention.

Later that night we finished packing. I called back home to tell my folks that I would be leaving in the morning and would not be back for at least six months. I went and showered and just laid there that Saturday night, nervous and very anxious, wondering what I was getting myself into. I just kept thinking about what we were told all day – that we were going to come face to face with some of the worst people the world had to offer, and that these were the people who had attacked and killed so many people in our country.

Early the next morning, 7 January 2002, we loaded up on the buses to the airstrip and boarded the plane to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

It doesn’t seem you received a lot of training for your Guantanamo assignment. Did you receive any training on the Geneva Conventions during your basic training?

We did not receive any kind of special training for working at Guantanamo. Nor did we receive any kind of real training on what would happen once we got there and the detainees starting arriving. No one from the top down in the company knew what was really going on or what to expect. We went out on a trial-and-error basis. As far as the Geneva Conventions, we touched very shortly on that in training. Most of what people knew about them was from their own readings.

Can you describe your arrival in Guantanamo?

We arrived in Guantanamo early on the afternoon of 7 January 2002. Coming from Texas in January it was quite cold, so everyone had their field jackets and cold weather BDUs [battle dress] on. Once we got off that plane I quickly realised I was not in Texas anymore. It was warm. Very warm, from what I remember. Here we were, dressed for cold weather, carrying all these weapons like we were going to a fight a war somewhere. All the Navy guys who were stationed there and in charge on in-processing us just kind of chuckled. We quickly turned our weapons in to the local armoury where they would stay for the next six months.

During the bus ride we drove right through the naval base. I remember seeing all the post, housing the BX (or Base Exchange), McDonald’s, bowling alley, the gym. I remember thinking, “Man! This is going to be a really nice deployment. We have all we need.” But we kept driving further and further, until there was nothing around us anymore, and in the distance you could see all these tents lined up in a row… I laid down that first night not knowing at all what to expect. No one knew what really was going on.

How did you spend the rest of your time before the detainees arrived?

The next day brought us nothing. We just sat around in our tents and slept most of the day. On 9 January, we all got together and marched down to Camp X-Ray and walked around for a quick tour. It was nothing like I had ever seen before. The cells – or cages as I call them – were small. “Something like you would put a dog in,” I thought. And, on top of that, it was all outdoors. Except for a small metal roof. The whole camp was rocks. No matter where you stepped you were stepping on rocks. But, “Oh well,” I thought, I was not going to be staying in there.

We started our training with the Marine correctional officers. I was placed with the group that would be doing the guarding. Since we were all MPs we were pretty well trained in handcuffing. But we covered it anyways: how to properly handcuff and [use] leg shackles. Over and over. We went over escorting procedures. It was a two-man job; one of the people escorting would force the detainee’s head down while we walked so he could not see where he was going.

Some of us also went through the five-man internal reaction force training. This team would be called upon supposedly when a detainee was out of control. The No 1 Man would have the shield. Once the cage door was open he would go in and hit the detainee as hard as he could with the shield. No 2 Man would go in and gain control of the detainee’s left arm; No 3 Man would gain control of the right arm; No 4 Man would go for the left leg, and No 5 Man would go for the right leg, take him down, and handcuff him. This training went on for the next two days and, on 10 January, we were told that the first batch of detainees would be arriving sometime the next day, so we would be on standby the next day.

Did you get any briefing on who the soon-to-arrive prisoners were?

The only thing I can recall being told about the detainees that would arrive was that they were captured fighting the Americans in Afghanistan. And that they were known terrorists. And that many of them helped in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. We would be coming face-to-face with the worst people the world had to offer. Our mission would be to guard these terrorists so the United States could get more info on attacks and, possibly, stop more terrorist attacks.

As to us, we talked a lot about the detainees before they arrived. About them and what they had probably been involved in. A lot of us, including myself, were pissed off, and many people were out to get revenge for the havoc the United States had been through in recent months by these people.

But, as the months went on, one or two of us would question what was going on here, the way the detainees were being treated, and if they were actually terrorists or not, but being no ones, and young, and dumb, we never questioned anything further; just did our time until we went home.

So 11 January 2002 finally arrives. This is the day the first batch of detainees would arrive. What was the atmosphere like that day?

Everyone, including myself, was very nervous. We did not know when or how many detainees would be arriving that day to Camp X-Ray. I was on standby. After waiting a couple hours we got the call that the detainees were at the airstrip and being loaded up to bring to the camp. I started getting really nervous; almost scared. I keep thinking: “Here it comes; I am fixing to see what a terrorist looks like face-to-face.” You could literally hear a pin drop moments before that bus full of detainees arrived.

Marine Humvees with .50-calibre guns mounted on them led the bus to the camp. The bus doors opened. You could hear the Marines screaming at them: “Shut the fuck up! You’re property of the United States of America now.” We were not allowed to step on to the bus. The Marines would push them towards us down the bus stairs and we would catch them. The first person who got off the bus, I will never forget. It was a man with one leg. He was later called Stumpy by everyone. I don’t know his name, but he was around 5ft 7in and at least 250lb. He was the biggest guy we had for a long time. Grabbed by the escorting MPs, Stumpy was jumping on one leg, MPs screaming at him to walk faster towards the holding area when, from inside the bus, someone threw his prosthetic leg out on to the ground. Myself and my partner were next. The second detainee came off the bus. We grabbed him like we were trained and took him into the holding area, yelling at him to get on his knees and to shut up.

Also in this bunch of detainees was an Australian. We were told he was a mercenary caught fighting against the Americans in Afghanistan. His name was David Hicks. Throughout the months I would talk to him plenty of times and hear his story, along with many others, including that of Feroz Ali Abbasi. He was British and was held on Bravo Block along with David Hicks.

How did the in-processing take place?

After all the detainees were in the holding pen, half of the teams would take them out of the holding pen and bring them into the tent to be in-processed. One by one the detainees were taken from the holding area to the back side of the camp, where in-processing happened very quickly. Ear muffs, goggles and masks were taken off, their pictures were taken, and ID bracelets were made and placed on their wrists. Then the goggles and the surgical mask were placed back on until they got to their cages.

Once in the cages… they were given two buckets (one for water and one to use as a toilet), a green army mat, a small toothbrush, and a sheet.

Did any of the detainees arrive with serious injuries?

Later that day, after my shift was over, the detainees would be taken out of their cages and go through some sort of physical examination, as many of them had injuries. I don’t necessarily remember the injuries of the detainees of the first group, but many of them came with injuries such as gunshot wounds, broken arms, legs.

One injury that sticks out in my mind was on a very slight, malnourished detainee, who had been grazed by a .50 calibre fighting the Americans in Afghanistan (supposedly). He arrived with the first or the second batch of detainees. When he arrived, his right arm was in a sling. I took him to medical a couple times throughout my time at Camp X-Ray. I will try to explain his injury as best as I can. Take your arm and fold it like it was in a sling against your chest. The hole was in his bicep area. Due to the fact his arm was in a sling, and in that position so long, the muscle had attached to his forearm somewhat, and he would go to medical so they could stretch it out. It was a very painful time every time he went.

How did your day end?

After we got off that day, it was late. No one really spoke much. I went back to my tent and laid down to go to sleep. I was thinking: “Those were the worst people the world had to offer? Not what I expected.” I guess I was expecting people who looked like monsters or what-not.

So much happened on that very first day… A lot of it is a blur.

I am very ashamed to admit it and tell you that I was involved in the very first IRFing (internal reaction force) incident at Camp X-Ray. On the first day we had been taking detainees from the in-processing centre to their cages for quite a while when myself and the guy that was my escorting partner grabbed the next detainee to be taken. He was probably in his mid to late fifties – short and kind of husky build. I remember grabbing him and then starting to walk first through the rocks and then through the sally port [a long walkway with gates on both sides] heading towards Alpha Block. Then I noticed he was really tense, shaking really bad, and not wanting to walk or move without being forced to do so. We made our way to Alpha Block, to the cage he would be placed in. He was instructed to go to his knees, which he did. My partner then went down and took off his leg shackles. I still had control of his upper body, and I could still feel him tensing up. Once the shackles were off my partner started to take off the handcuffs. The detainee got really tense and started to pull away. We yelled at him: “Stop moving!” Over and over. Then he stopped moving, and when my partner went to put the key in that first handcuff, the detainee jerked hard to the left towards me. Before I knew it, I threw the detainee to the ground and was on top of him holding his face to the cement floor.

At this time my partner had left the cage. The block NCOIC [Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge] was on the radio yelling code red, which meant emergency on the block. Before I knew, I was grabbed from behind and pulled out of the cage by the IRF team. They grabbed this man and hog-tied him. He laid there like that for hours before he was released from that position.

A couple days later, I found out from a detainee who was on that block that the older detainee was just scared and that when we placed him on his knees he thought he was going to be executed. He went on to tell me that this man had seen some of his friends and family members executed on their knees. I can remember guys coming up to me after it was over that night and said: “Man, that was a good job; you got you some.”

I did not feel good about what I did. It felt wrong. This man was old enough to be my father, and I had just beaten up on him. I still to this day don’t know who was more scared before and during this incident, me or the detainee. I remember seeing him the next day when I walked into camp. His face was all bruised and scraped up. I was young and didn’t question anything back then. As I do nowadays. But even then, when I was as pissed off as anyone there, I felt ashamed of what I did. As the years have went on and the more I learn, the more guilt I feel. This is one of the incidents from my time at Guantanamo that haunts me.

Any incidents of abuse soon after the arrival of detainees?

One night I was assigned to Charlie Block as a block guard. The medic was handing medication out on the block. He made his way over to one detainee on the block and instructed him to drink a can of Ensure [a lot of detainees were given this as they were underweight and malnourished]. The detainee refused to take the Ensure. The medic told him multiple times to take it and the detainee still refused. The medic then went and told the block NCOIC of the situation. The block NCOIC then went to the detainee and gave him the same instructions to take the can of Ensure. Once again the detainee refused to follow orders.

Next, the on-duty OIC [Officer in Charge] was notified of the situation. The OIC then made his way to the block where a discussion went on about the situation and the conclusion was that the detainee could not refuse any medications at all. The camp OIC then went over to the detainee and gave him the same instruction to drink the Ensure or, if he refused, he would be forced to take it. Once again he refused to drink it. The call was made on the radio for the IRF team. The IRF team entered the block where they were met by the OIC and the medic. They were told of the situation and advised once they entered the cell they were to restrain the detainee so the medic could give him the can of Ensure. The IRF team then started to approach the cage the detainee was in. Since I was on the block, I walked on the other side of the cage so I could watch what was going on. Once the IRF team was lined up and got in position to enter the cell the OIC unlocked the lock and pulled it off and opened the cage door. The detainee just stood there, facing the IRF team. BOOM! The No 1 Man hit the detainee with the shield causing him to fall to the cement floor of the cage. Quickly, the whole team was on top of the detainee. They stood him up and hand-cuffed him to the fence in the cage. The person who had the shield held the detainee’s head so he could not move. The medic then entered the cage with the can of Ensure. Once he entered the cage he looked up and saw me. He then motioned for me to move over to my left (his right). So I moved over. I did not think anything about it. He then opened the Ensure can, grabbed the detainee by the neck, and started to pour it down his throat. The detainee was attempting to move his head, and he wouldn’t swallow any of it. The Ensure just ran down his face all over him.

The medic looked up one quick time and punched the detainee twice on the left side of his face with his right fist. The medic then just turned around and walked out of the cage like nothing happened. The detainee was then un-handcuffed from the cage and laid down on the cement in the cage. He was then hog-tied. He laid in this position for a couple hours.

When the whole incident was over, I turned around and noticed the guard tower where the Marines were stationed watching over and realised that the medic had placed me in front of the view of the tower and I had not realised it.

I later learnt through other detainees on the block the reason the man refused the Ensure was that he thought he was being poisoned.

That was a ghastly incident…

One day, while on duty at Camp X-Ray, I was assigned to escorting duties. I was at the very back of the camp. There was like a big shed there. This was also where the IRF team was stationed at until called upon. On this day the call came for the IRF team to come to Bravo Block. They made their way to the block and, at the time, I was not doing anything, so I made my way down to the block to watch from the outside. The situation on the block was that a detainee had called a female MP “bitch” a couple times. For punishment, the IRF team was called upon to enter the cage and hog-tie the detainee. The female MP was very upset, yelling: “Whip his ass!”

The IRF team, along with the camp OIC, approached the detainee’s cage and told him to stop yelling and lay down so he could be restrained. The detainee just stood there, staring at them. The IRF team lined up in position to enter the cage. The OIC unlocked the lock on the cage door and, when this was done, the detainee turned around, went to his knees and placed his hands on the top of his head. The lock was taken off and the cage door was opened. The No 1 Man on the IRF team tossed his shield to the side and, with a quick run towards the detainee, hopped in the air and came down on the back of the detainee with his knee. This caused the detainee to fall to the cement floor of the cage with the No 1 Man on top of him. Then the whole IRF team was on top of him, hitting, punching and kicking him. It seemed like a long time, but in reality it lasted 15-20 seconds.

While the IRF team was still on top of the detainee, someone yelled for the female MP that was called a bitch. She entered the cage and she punched the detainee a couple times in the head and then left the cage. The detainee laid there cuffed-up but motionless and unresponsive. Next thing I saw were medics coming from the medical house with a stretcher. They left the block with the detainee on the stretcher; they took him to a waiting military ambulance and he was transported to the main hospital. I went back to work not fully knowing what was wrong or what happened to the detainee.

Anything you want to add about IRFings?

I don’t believe the IRF team was used for the right reasons at all. At least the people on the team used it for the wrong reasons. It was their way to beat up on someone who was smaller and weaker than them. I have often wondered why you would need five healthy, grown men, in riot gear, to go take a down a detainee who was most likely underweight and very weak.

You say the Koran was thrown to the floor. That suggests it was done intentionally…

When the incident happened with the Koran, I was on Alpha Block working that day. All of a sudden detainees started to yell and chant, and it spread around the camp in a second. Next thing I know, detainees were throwing their mats out of the cages. Some were throwing their water out of their bucket out of the cage. Everyone was going off. Then we heard that on Charlie Block, during cell search, a guard had thrown the Koran to the ground, and that was the cause of this.

Well, the guard that threw the Koran to the ground was a really good friend of mine. I talked to him that night about what happened. He swears he didn’t throw the Koran to the ground being hateful. He told me he was just doing a cell search – as was to be done every time a detainee left the cage. We were told to search the Korans, and that’s what he did. And he said that, before thinking about it, he tossed it to the side, hitting the ground. And that’s when all hell broke loose in the camp. He was very upset about the whole thing. He was really worried something would happen to him as far as disciplinary [action] through the chain of command, mainly due to the fact the Colonel had stated he wanted that soldier who was responsible for this to be punished. But he never was and, after a while, it was all forgotten about.

You say that pork was given to a detainee, without warning him and knowing that this violated religious rules?

There was loud rock music that was played throughout the camp, especially in the early days of X-Ray. Over time this seemed to stop, but the National Anthem was played every morning at 0630 hours. Muslim calls to prayer were broadcast after the first week of Camp X-Ray. During call to prayer, many times soldiers would mock and laugh at the detainees. Many would also try to sing along to the call for prayer, trying to be funny. I also know that sometimes, during call for prayer, water would be given out to the detainees in their bucket, and some would spray the detainees with water during prayer, then stating it was an accident.

I remember just talking to some detainees and them telling me that, since they had nothing else to do, they were studying their religion more and reading the Koran to better understand their religion. I remember thinking I couldn’t believe how dedicated these people were to their religion; always reading the Koran, always praying. I actually admired them for this, as you don’t see a lot of people take religion so seriously.

You got detainees to volunteer to empty the waste buckets?

The waste buckets were to be emptied at the end of every shift – so around every eight hours. Us guards would empty the buckets, but eventually we started to refuse to do so, due to health reasons, and it was just plain nasty. A whole bucket full of human waste we would pick up just wearing gloves and carry to a port potty and empty. Eventually detainees were bribed with candy from the MREs [ready-to-eat meals] to empty them, and many of them did this, many stating they did so just to get out of their cage and move around.

Were there any old-timers or children in Guantanamo during your tour? Were they afforded any special treatment on account of their age?

I did see a couple older people, probably in late fifties or sixties. They were not given any special treatment at all. They were treated just like the rest of the detainees. As for children, I never saw any, but there was talk that some had come to Guantanamo during our time there, and that they were being kept at the Navy Brig on the base, where it was all isolation cells. There was a lot of talk about that. No one actually ever said there were children being held there. There was just a lot of talk from the people who worked at the Brig that some of the detainees looked really young…

Were detainees verbally abused?

Upon arrival, detainees were screamed at throughout the whole process. They were told to shut up, walk faster, and whatnot. Some guards would call them “sand niggers”. I never heard that phrase until I was at Guantanamo. Detainees would be told that their country had been nuked and nothing was left, and that their families were dead. I know of some guards even telling detainees they could be executed at any time. This all was being said on the blocks by fellow MPs.

You said that you talked plenty of times with the Australian prisoner David Hicks. What did you two talk about?

I remember David Hicks very clearly as, to me, he is one of the two most memorable detainees I came across. Due to him being able to communicate so clearly with us. And because he just reminded me of a guy I would have just gone out and have a beer with.

Over time, I would talk to him a couple times while at Camp X-Ray. He would talk about how he was from Australia. He would say sometimes how he couldn’t wait to receive news from back home from his parents. I can remember him mentioning a couple times that he was divorced and I believe he had one or two kids.

Even to me, he never denied being in Afghanistan, but he would make it a point to emphasise that he was not fighting the Americans, and said on many occasions he would not fight the Americans. He said he was there fighting in the country before the United States started to attack. He then went on to say he was attempting to leave Afghanistan when, one night, he was on board a taxi and the taxi was stopped by the Northern Alliance. He was captured from there. He then stated that the Northern Alliance didn’t treat him too badly and that, the next thing he knew, he was told he was being sold to the Americans for $1,500.

Hicks did not come across as the cold-blooded killer that we were told all these guys were. He was a normal guy like me. And not much older. He would sit there, crack a joke, and make small talk. Just like any other normal person would. During these times is when I really started to look at the detainees as real people and not just monsters, as I had been told they were. This man had a family and people that loved him, as I had. And we both missed them greatly and we both wanted to return to our families as soon as we could.

You say you talked a lot about music with the British detainee Ruhal Ahmed?

I think being around the same age as him – and since I listened to a lot of music – we could connect on that level. We also talked about normal stuff guys our age did. Everything from girls, to what we did when we went out on the town.

Many times, while working Alpha Block, if I didn’t understand someone, or wanted to know what was going on, I would ask Ruhal for help. I was actually older than he was by a year. And I was only 21 at the time. I could not imagine, at that age, suffering what he went through. The Ruhal Ahmed I saw and spoke with was just a normal, everyday young guy like I was. If I had seen him walking down the street or at a bar I would not think twice, and I definitely would not have thought he was a terrorist.

I know that being in the position I was in, as an active duty Military Police officer guarding the most dangerous men in the world, that I was not supposed to really interact with the detainees. But it’s hard. Especially when you realise that some of these guys are no different than yourself. The military trains you not to think and just to react and not feel any compassion for anyone or anybody. And do what you are told. No questions asked.

Did you witness any acts of kindness there, either by the guards or the prisoners?

Just because many of us were guards at Guantanamo does not make us automatically bad people. I know for a fact, one or two people, including myself, felt sorry for these people – and very ashamed of what we were taking part in. But what could we say? If we questioned anything or talked out against what we thought was wrong, we would have been ridiculed. And who knows what else we would have had to face? So we kept our mouths shut and went to work every day, counting down the days until we could return home to our families and just could forget about this time we spent in Guantanamo.

Although you have already begun to do so, can you tell me how you came to think the way you do about Guantanamo? How did your views change?

When I initially learnt of my deployment to Guantanamo and the purpose we were going for, I was ready to go and face the world’s most dangerous men; these terrorists who had plotted and killed thousands of people in my country on 11 September 2001. I was ready to seek my own personal revenge on these people in whatever manner I could.

Then the day came when these “world’s most dangerous men” arrived, and they were not what I expected to see. Most of them were small, underweight, very scared, and injured. I was expecting these people to come off that bus looking like vicious monsters. Then, I was one of the people responsible for the older detainee being injured. And seeing the abuse these detainees went through… The same people I worked with every day, the same people I went to sleep with every night, were the same people mistreating these detainees. After speaking with the detainees and realising they had families who loved them, just as I had, I started to realise that these people are no different than me. Hell! I was older than some of the ones there.

I also grew to respect the Muslim culture during my time at Guantanamo. I greatly admired the detainees for praying all the time and being true to their religion. You don’t see that in America much any more.

I think everyone can agree that, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, there are some really bad people. And there are a lot of good people there as well. But – innocent, guilty, black, white, Muslim, or Jew, no matter what you are – there is no excuse to treat people in the manner that I and other people did. It’s wrong and just downright criminal, and it goes against everything the United States of America stands for.

Brandon Neely gave this interview as part of the Guantanamo Testimonials Project, run by the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas at the University of California. To read the full transcript, or to contact the organisation or donate funds, visit

© Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas in California